GoDaddy and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership on Monday that brings an exclusive line of Office 365 email and productivity offerings to GoDaddy small business customers.
The partnership includes three custom Microsoft products: Email Essentials, a domain-based email and storage offering that is new to the market, Business Essentials, which is Office in the cloud, and Productivity Plus, which provides a desktop suite of Office applications.
GoDaddy said its partnership with Microsoft will enable its small business customers, who make up the majority of its 12 million customer base, to focus on their business rather than their IT.
“When we think about our future the vision for the company is to help small businesses compete. How do we tilt the global economy so that the playing field favors the small business person? For us that means how do we make life simple for the small businesses so that they can go back to what they love to do which is serve their customers well,” Steven Aldrich, senior vice president of Business Applications, GoDaddy said in an interview on Monday.
In the US alone, there are 28 million small businesses, but most of them are solo-entrepreneurs or someone with a handful of employees, he said. They may not have a full-time IT person or marketing person, “so we have to bring something simple and compelling to them that makes their lives better.”
GoDaddy said that it worked with Microsoft to build Email Essentials, a domain-based email and storage offering that can be set-up with one click and is priced at $3.99/month/user.
“The small business owner literally only has to type in a password in order to get up and running and we configure everything else behind the scenes,” Aldrich said. “That’s compared to the 8 to 30 steps that you’d have to go through normally to get a domain-based email to work.”
Business Essentials is also easy to get up-and-running, according to Aldrich, and offers 50GB of email storage, 25GB of storage with SkyDrive and all of the Office web apps.
Both products benefit from 24/7 support from GoDaddy.
Finally, Productivity Plus is a desktop Office suite for small business and includes products like Outlook, Lync, and Powerpoint.
The partnership comes at a time of change and momentum for GoDaddy. Recently, GoDaddy refreshed its Windows hosting services while adding Parallels Plesk support, another set of moves poised to address the needs of small businesses.